Fiji is one of those places that looks like it could only exist on the back of a postcard. With its tropical climate, white sand beaches, lush palms, and clear blue water, it is no surprise that Fiji is known as a tourist and honeymoon destination. It’s so gorgeous and pristine there that we even pay to drink bottles of their water! Although it may be more difficult to find jobs abroad in Fiji than in some other countries, the effort is well worth it to be able to live in a location that many people only dream of visiting.
Fiji is an island country in the South Pacific Ocean. It is comprised of 332 islands, which leaves endless opportunities for exploring and literally hundreds of beautiful beaches. Viti Levu and Vanua Levu are two of Fiji’s major islands. Most of the jobs in Fiji that are accessible to foreigners are in the bigger cities.
Suva. Suva, the capital of Fiji, is the country’s most populated city, with 85,691 residents in the city. It is also the economic and political capital of Fiji, and hosts many financial institutions, government ministries, and non-governmental organizations. Suva is also considered the cultural and entertainment capital of Fiji, and boasts a developed entertainment and event infrastructure. It is definitely not difficult to find something to do in Suva!
Lautoka. Lautoka, which is also located on the island of Viti Levu, is the second most populated city in Fiji with a population of 52,220. Lautoka is nicknamed the “sugar city” because of its sugar cane belt areas. Although Lautoka is one of Fiji’s larger cities, there are fewer expats and foreigners here since its main industry is sugar production. What does that mean for you? A more culturally immersive experience!
Nadi. Nadi comes in third in terms of population and size. However, Nadi has the largest airport, and the highest concentration of hotels and motels in Fiji, so it is considered the tourism hub. Since tourism is Nadi’s main industry, it is a great place for foreigners to find jobs in the hospitality field.
Popular Job Types
Most foreigners working in Fiji are employed in management, education, tourism, and non-governmental organization sectors. Jobs in Fiji are more readily available in the larger cities, but since resorts are scattered across many of the islands, foreigners also have the chance to work in more secluded areas.
Tourism. The tourism industry is one of Fiji’s biggest industries, and it takes a lot of people to keep it running! There are many local and foreign tourism-related companies that hire foreigners to work in Fiji. Considering the fact that most tourists in Fiji come from New Zealand, Australia, and the U.S., the ability to speak fluent English is definitely an advantage when working within the hospitality industry.
Education. Teaching placements can be found in many of the larger cities and towns in Fiji; for example, Suva is booming with teaching opportunities! An expat trying to teach in Fiji may be required to have some sort of degree or a TEFL certificate, depending on the job requirements. Teachers may be employed in public schools, religious schools, international schools, or private language institutes. The language of instruction is English, so foreign teachers are not necessarily limited to English teacher positions.
Volunteer organizations. Many organizations offer volunteer opportunities in Fiji. Of course, all of these volunteer operations also need paid workers to keep them running. Working with one of these volunteer organizations is one way to get your foot in the door in Fiji’s job market.
The minimum wage in Fiji is only $2.68 Fijian dollars an hour, but many expats report earning a livable wage, though their living standards may be lower than what they are accustomed to at home. The average monthly salary in Fiji is around 1,425 FJ$. There is a range in wages and living costs, depending on your job and your location. Many expats consider living in Fiji quite affordable, with the added bonus of living in a tropical paradise.
Accommodation costs can vary depending on where you plan to live. A one-bedroom apartment in a city centre can cost over 2000 FJ$, while those outside of the centre can cost 500 FJ$. It can take some time to find suitable accommodation in Fiji, depending on how strict you are about your living conditions and your budget. When looking for accommodation in Fiji, you should ensure that there are suitable security arrangements, backup power generators, and air conditioning for your home. Power outages may happen, especially after big storms. However, with such a perfect climate and so many options to explore, hopefully you will be spending most of your time at the beach anyways!
A work permit is required to work in Fiji. Foreigners cannot work with a tourist visa or a resident visa. A request letter from your employer is required to apply for a working permit, so you must already have a job offer to apply for your visa. The best way to search for jobs in Fiji is online. Work permit information is located on the Fiji government’s immigration website; see our embassy directory for more information.
GoAbroad’s Inside Scoop
Fiji has three official languages: English, Fijian, and Hindi. English is widely used in government, business, and education. Locals can speak varying levels of English, which simplifies finding international jobs in Fiji—but remember to greet with the word “bula!”, which is a commonly used Fijian greeting.
One of the main reasons why foreigners work abroad in Fiji is to experience its pristine wildlife. Make sure to explore all of its different iterations, from its sandy beaches and coral reefs, to its lush rainforests and fresh waterfalls.
An interesting natural site to visit is the Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park, which is an hour long drive south from Nadi. The park has sand dunes up to 190 feet tall and offers tours where visitors can learn about the park’s ecosystem, visit archaeological sites and, of course, climb some dunes!
Working in Fiji means that you are always a stone’s throw away from a beautiful view. If you love to be in nature, then say “bula” to your next Fijian adventure!